An Etymologist's View of the World features a series of maps that appear to be just regular maps, but look a little closer and you'll see that more familiar place names have been replaced with what they translate as. Totally awesome, and if you were looking for ideas on how to name places in your fantasy/sci-fi worlds, this might give you some inspiration.

[ profile] elfwreck brings us the Pagan Bingo card, for when you're really sick and tired of all the "witty" responses that come from mentioning that you're pagan/a witch/et cetera. (I haven't had this problem much, myself, since I don't really talk about spirituality all that much, even in my tight group of friends who respect me and accept me. My parents have leveled a few of these at me when I first admitted I'd turned away from Catholicism, though.)

[ profile] kaigou has a series of interesting posts here and here regarding various aspects of Japanese culture with regards to the anime Mo No No Ke.

The Turkey City Lexicon gives names to various recurring patterns in genre fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy. Man, I wish I'd known the term "countersinking" a year or two back - I was MSTing a fic that was absolutely riddled with the problem.

This gives a whole new meaning to the term "fundies." Bzuh?!

A rather concisely humorous overview of the political clusterfuck going up in Canuckistan.

Holy crap! It's NaNoWriMo wank that has nothing to do with NaNoWriMo being the death of Real True Writing!


I finished reading Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters by Peter Vronsky, which I borrowed from [ profile] lysis_to_kill a couple of months back. It's a brief, accessible overview to the history and psychology of female killers, and if you're interested in the subject and don't know much of anything about it (unlike [ profile] lysis_to_kill, who knows a shitload), I'd recommend it. (It would be nice to see a book on this subject done by a woman, however.)

One thing I found jarring, however, were the major shifts in Vronsky's tone that popped up every now and again in the first half of the book, but became really pronounced during the second half, especially towards the end when he begins talking about the "Nazi bitches" Irma Grese and Ilse Koch and the Manson Girls. He keeps a casually academic tone for the most part, but then you run into things like a footnote on LaVeyan Satanism on page 415 with regards to one of the Manson Girls that reads:

*LaVey was the founder of the San Francisco-based Church of Satan - a pseudosatanic cult for wankers with fat wallets and small brains.

And then earlier on, on page 19, as an editorial comment on a quote from a radical feminist:

Perhaps this will yet represent a frightening future wave of feminism that will insist, as Morissey's publisher describes her book's argument, "that by denying the possibility of female agency in the crimes of torture, rape, and murder, feminist theorists are, with the best of intentions, actually denying women the full freedom to be human."

Please, a little less freedom and humanity for all of us then!

Whether you find his comments to be spot-on or not (I actually do think he has his points in his scathing comments regarding the ridiculous ways in which feminists of a certain stripe hold up female serial killers as martyrs and victims of a phallocentric patriarchy), they also seem ridiculously out of place in this layman's academic text, and it had me going "Just shut up and get on with the facts!" every so often. Seriously, man, what are you writing, a post for a snark community or an informational book?


Making progress on learning "Those Who Fight", although there's no way I'd be able to perform it in time for Borders on 12/5. Not that that particularly worries me, since it's not like that'll be the only time I'll perform there (...I hope). I am proud of being able to hit difficult notes with some relative measure of cleanness without completely killing my wrists or fingers, and I can roughly play the first three pages from memory now. I'm working on memorizing the next three pages (though I have a random part from them sort of memorized), and I'm learning the last three pages (which I didn't even touch the first time I had this sheet music). I can play through up to page 7 with some degree of competency now, though.

we're here where the daylight begins
reileen: (music - proofread score)

I went with my friend Melissa to see a live performance of Vienna Teng for the third year running that I almost forgot I was going to go see because I haven't been paying close attention to the passing of the days. We had a quick dinner at Clark's Diner off the Belmont Red Line, and then since we had a ton of time to kill and the weather was wonderfully cooperative, we walked the couple of blocks straight down Belmont to the tavern.

Vienna was playing with percussionist Alex Wong, who is a music deity in his own right. I swear, a few more extra arms and legs and that man could play an entire orchestra. Instruments he played during this performance included standard drums, the glockenspiel, the waterphone, the guitar, and the...shit, I forget the name, but it's like a small keyboard with a mouthpiece. And he has a really nice voice as well. The combined awesome of him and Vienna together on stage was so overwhelming that I'm surprised that the place didn't collapse from that much epicness gathered in that tiny tavern.

Highlights? What, you want me to just pick out a few moments? Oh, fine:

*As I mentioned before, Vienna performed three new songs here: In Another Life, Antebellum, and Grandmother Song. The first two were, of course, brilliant (because it's Vienna, durrr), but Grandmother Song took it to an entirely new level. She sang it only with Alex accompanying on varied percussion, as she stood at a microphone shall I describe it...she acted the song, which was from the POV of her grandmother giving a speech to her about her choice of a career. The music is great, but you really do have to see this woman acting the song. Vienna once said that she felt more at home in the studio than in live performances, but when I hear her live recordings and - even more - when I see her live, I'm often reminded that her recordings tend to fail to capture the immense presence and energy she has in-person.

*We now have what I am currently calling the Reuben's Sandwich Remix of "I Don't Feel So Well", which was inspired by the fact that, when Vienna and Alex took the Lake Express boat from...I forget where it was, they were either headed to or coming from Milwaukee and I can't remember the other destination...but at any rate, they got on the Lake Express because they thought it would be a nice, scenic way to get around. Except that Alex got seasick not long into the ride after eating some crappy sandwiches. So this remixed version of the song (by the way, I adore the live performances of this song for the jazzy piano improv) includes these changes to the lyrics:

Reuben's sandwiches are no good
I thought that you should know, I thought that you should know that
Reuben's sandwiches are no good
I thought that you should know before you fall

I saw it begin to dawn on us both
And somehow it wasn't surprising
And so you're preparing to swear every oath
But all the while, I'm realizing

I don't like the Lake Express
I thought that you should know, I thought that you should know that
I don't like the Lake Express
I thought that you should know before you fall's probably funnier if you hear it, but what the hey. If I manage to get a recording of this song later, I'll post it.

*Vienna played "Harbor" as a birthday dedication to me! I was surprised - I'd mentioned the proximity of the performance date to my birthday in a post on the forums, but when one of the other forumites offered to shout out a dedication for me, I declined. So either someone went and tipped her off despite me turning down the offer, or she just happens to keep up on her forums. No one yet has taken credit for telling her about my birthday, so I'm going to assume that she is just so awesome that she keeps up with what her fans talk about at the forums. *glee* And I find it interesting that she chose "Harbor"...I know that there's probably no real reason for her deciding on it besides "Well, hey, I've got a birthday dedication and this is one of the happier songs I've got", but to hear that particular song for me at this point in my life means more than I can express, and the song itself has taken on new meanings for me. I guess this probably also means I should really finish mastering the vocals for it...

*I found out when I went to talk to her after the show that she's aiming for her next album to be released on February 6th next year. Mark your calendars, all ye that be interested! Even if the date changes, at least we've got one to fixate on for the moment!


I'm headed out on a roadtrip to Canuck-side Niagara Falls with the family for the weekend. I'm...not sure what to expect. I'm mildly miffed because that means I can't immediately get at the next Weekly Jump chapters for Gintama or Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro (a series that I really need to write about soon in this journal - both the anime and the manga). I can deal with missing Gintama, because the "WHAT ARE YOU DOIIIINNNG SORACHIIII D:!!!"-inducing events seem to have quieted down in the current arc, but Neuro's seriously going to pwn Genuine's ass in this week's chapter of MTNN and I want a front-row seat to the smackdown. I BET HER BLOOD WILL TASTE LIKE SPARKLY CANDY Daaah. I'm debating on whether I want to bring my laptop with me so that I can check e-mail and sites. But I probably won't, because 1) my parents will probably bitch me out for it and 2) I have a huge-ass laptop anyway that's not very ideal for carrying around. And it's not like I can use it for working on my writing either, because I found out the hard way (working on a philosophy final paper the morning of the day it was due on the way back to the campus from home in my dad's car) that I will get hellishly, fiendishly carsick.

Still, I'll probably end up bringing a few books to read (not necessarily in the car) and a notebook to doodle or to scribble in.


In other good news, I managed to get my scholarship back, even though I wrote the letter of appeal for it only two days ago! Here's to hoping I can make this school year worth it.


"Fallen Goddess" still isn't behaving for me. I have the lyrical melody, and I can play a rough accompaniment from the second chorus all the way through to the end, but I'm not happy with it. Myuuuu. I think I'll probably leave it and muck around with simple instrumental piano melodies, or practice old classical favorites of mine...

I know the border lines we drew between us
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Re-worked the lyrics to "Fallen Goddess", which has been sitting around for years. Likely as not, these won't be the final - it would depend on what comes out for doing the melody. I'm not entirely happy with the lyrics as-is either, but I figured I should get something passable down so I can practice my music composition.

This will be a difficult song to deal with, though. It's manifesting in my head as a symphonic/gothic rock piece, and I'm nowhere near talented enough at this point to make that happen. And I even have an idea for how it'll be arranged on an album: it'll be preceded by a recording of my poem "Your Move", which will fade into the opening riff of "Fallen Goddess", and succeeded by a quote from "The Charge of the Goddess", all with audio effects and musical stuff and that sort of jazz that I have no skill with doing at the moment. (It's also not very practical given that I still live at home and I don't exactly have a garage or basement to myself where I can make all the noise I want without bothering anyone...)

Your Move

Save sinners and redeem them for rewards at City Hall!
Baptize them in their own blood - all of them, all!
Send a Pentecost of bullets upon their heathen heads!
Three points for every hand you nail, ten points for a knife between the eyes
And multiply by two the number of lies you’ve told!

Gehenna-gone fools, I pity you
Who presume to know what your Lord would do.

Fallen Goddess

Once upon a time, you were mine and I was yours
Warm embraces and twilight lullabies
I delighted in the grace from your eyes

But good things were never built to last
Even temples of stone bow before time's mighty throne
Our paradise has died to the past
Can we make another one alone?

My fallen goddess
Marked by time, marred by folly, blinded by light
Though I've strayed to find my own way
I will never abandon you

Once upon a time, I believed in you and you in me
You were the truth and all that was right
Until I thought to spread my wings to take flight

So this paradise has died to the past
Was it ever anything more than a dream?
Good things were never built to last
For longer than a wish, it seems

My fallen goddess
Marked by time, marred by folly, blinded by light
Though I've strayed to find my own way
I will never abandon you

The gifts I gave, you ceased to take
The hymns I sang, you ceased to listen
The prayers I said, you ceased to answer...

My fallen goddess
Marked by time, marred by folly, blinded by light
We've lost each other now, but I give my solemn vow:
I'll remember you always

Excerpt from The Charge of the Goddess

Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place, and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all witches.

I'm also doing a piano arrangement of Dar Williams' "Mercy of the Fallen". It's a very lovely song, though I'm puzzling over the lyrics.

-where half-dreams may dream without end
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Yahoo!TV: Ramiele Malubay is axed from American Idol.

Well, it was nice while it lasted, but it looks like Malubay wasn't able to get her act together to wow the crowd. C'est la vie...

In more amusing news: Super Smash Brothers Brawl, in the style of the Hellsing manga. OH MY GODS, THAT KIRBY WILL HAUNT MY DREAMS FOREVER and that Pikachu is lolariously manly

Finished major work on "Between the Lines." I know this because even despite my usual aikido-style wrist-stretching exercises that I do nearly every day that have allowed me to bend my wrists and fingers in slightly oddtastic ways, I have still ended up with sore wrists. REST TIEMZ NAO. On the other hand, both [ profile] vyctori and [ profile] dantaron have given the song favorable reviews, so the sore wrists are totally worth it. And hey, I composed a song in less than two weeks. Not bad for someone with my lack of experience in songwriting.

Additionally, I fixed the middle transition part of "Triskaidekaphobia" so that it sounds marginally more interesting.

why am I walking barefoot upon this road with no one around
reileen: (music - proofread score)
"Queen of Denial" is mostly performable by now. Finally. I've had that thing sitting around for at least a year. I'm still trying to clean up the accompaniment for the stanza melody parts, but if forced to play this song at gunpoint, I could wing it with simple block chords.

For "Between the Lines," I managed to:

1) fill in missing lyrics
2) choose a key (E major) and a palette of chords
3) create a musical motif, and
4) drafted out the melodic structure of the song!


Which is pretty impressive considering that I didn't have anything for it a few days ago except for the incomplete lyrics. It sucks, though, 'cause the chorus melody is an upward movement based on the E chord, so I eventually end up singing at the E two octaves above middle C. And the D# right below it. Oh, well, at least I have an excuse to practice getting at those high notes.

Also, in-between waffling around on "Queen of Denial" and "Between the Lines," I ended up figuring out the chords to "Lucky" by Britney Spears. Unexpected/10. Although that was actually a favorite song of mine back when it was still being played on the radio.

there's the wind, and the rain, and the mercy of the fallen
reileen: (general - strawberry)
Finished reading Midnight Predator by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. Technically it's a re-read, which is an oddity for me because I'm a book glutton who rarely re-reads books under the pretense that there's just so much new stuff waiting to be discovered by moi that I can't spare a lot of time to re-read something. But the last time I read this was back in high school, so there's been a fair amount of time for it to seem mostly new and novel to me. I actually owned a copy as well, but I think Mommykins confiscated it along with all of my pagan/Neo-Wiccan books (and she also took my Daughters of the Moon series by Lynn Ewings). The last time I asked her what happened to those books, a few years ago, she said she'd lost them. I suspect that means that she trashed them. But I digress.

I usually don't go for vampire stories. The vampire mythos doesn't do anything for me except make me go, "Hey, I wonder how I can fuck that up in a story?" (For the record, I do indeed have a bit of a mocktastic vampire tale planned, involving a girl who rudely told a snarky vampire-in-disguise to bite her - which the vampire promptly did - but it's only in the prehistoric stages of planning.) But I like this book - even after all the time since I last read it as a stupid little teenager, it holds up as a competent example of storytelling. Turquoise Draka, the main character, is a very likable and sympathetic protagonist. She's badass without being superpowered, and she has weaknesses that she works through without being emo about it and without pages upon pages of navel-gazing - which she really can't afford to do, considering that she's a vampire hunter on a mission. The story starts out as just another mission for Turquoise, and ultimately becomes a cathartic journey for her. The open ending both fascinates and frustrates me, which I suppose is the mark of a well-told story.

If you haven't read anything by Atwater-Rhodes before, I'd recommend checking out her Kiesha'ra series, which revolves around different societies of shapeshifters. In order, the books are Hawksong, Snakecharm, Falcondance, Wolfcry, and Wyvernhail. I'm really fascinated by the worldbuilding. Oh, and the writing is good too, of course. I haven't yet read Wyvernhail, though, which is making me antsy 'cause it's from the POV of one of my favorite characters. But in due time.


YouTube, what?

Enough to Go By - Cover of Vienna Teng's "Enough to Go By," transcribed when [ profile] vyctori was kind enough a few weeks ago to send me the chords she had worked out from the song for a school project.

Serenade - That famous one by Schubert.

Old English Court Dance - From Gavotte in B-flat by Handel.

Triskaidekaphobia - An original, which I've blathered about on here a couple of times in the past. Simple chords; repetitive melody; nonsensical, gimmicky lyrics; lazy half-assed soloing in the middle; and passable singing. But it's fun to play. If I were to do a theoretical studio arrangement, I'd probably bring in some strings for the main riff - violin and/or guitar.

and there's a glance in time suspended
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Holy hell, wordy Reileen is wordy. I was just working on the melody for "Eidolon" and ow ow ow so many words to get through. Yikes. Think I gotta do another revision on the lyrics to pare it all down so I don't give myself (and potential listeners) a headache later. I do have a melody for the first three lines that sounds appropriately creepy, at least. Yay for weird dissonant chords that...don't really make sense! Not to me, anyway. And I have no idea what to do for the chorus.


Read the first omnibus volume of the Gunsmith Cats manga. It's badass.


It's got girls with guns. And bombs. And it's set in Chicago. The Chi, dude! The first story arc has Minnie May intercepting the baddie of the week right near Buckingham Fountain with a well-timed kablamafoo. And then later someone sets off a bomb in the parking garage of Marina Towers, a.k.a. the Corncobs. Heeeeee. This makes me happy in my skirt.

The art is also really good, especially when you get down to the details with the guns and cars, among the usual suspects (backgrounds, characters, etc.). Ye gods, I wish I had that talent. I keep telling myself that I'll spend regular intervals drawing inanimate objects in painstaking detail just for the practice, but I get too distracted with drawing pretty boys and girls. Oops. I wasn't paying attention to the writing, but maybe that's a good thing - that means the writing was doing its job and wasn't being intrusive.


Hmm. How do I put it as nicely and as concisely as possible?


I wish I were shitting you. I wish I were exaggerating. But the second lead character, May Hopkins, is a 17-year-old who looks like a 10-year-old. It's not even in the way that anime/manga-style naturally makes everyone look younger - this chick actually looks like she's 10 years old. I had to double-check on Wikipedia that she was actually 17 in the original Japanese and it wasn't just some weird localization thing that the American translators did (like in Bible Black where they apparently insisted that all the students involved in the debauch-o-rama of that series were all in college, despite the fact that they wore uniforms).

Little May? Is in a long-standing relationship with a guy who is 18 years older than she is.

Now, I have a high tolerance for squicky things, which includes massive age differences in romantic couples. But this particular instance of it bothered me for a number of reasons:

1) There's three overtly sexual scenes in this particular volume that involve May. In fact, I think the first one you see is in the second or third story arc, where May goes undercover at a high-end brothel to figure out where one of bad guys is going to be at a certain time. The "interview" scene shows her sucking off the pimp while wearing nothing but lingerie. No naughty bits are officially shown (the guy's dick is silhouetted in 20% screentone), but that's way too sensual for me to be seeing with a girl who only looks like she's 10.

2) Speaking of the brothel, apparently May spent some time hiding out/working in a Chinatown brothel for a few years prior to joining up with Rally Vincent (the other lead character)? I forget why, and I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment. Anyway, that little fact is mentioned, like, ten million times over the course of this volume, in varying degrees of specificity. I don't think that in and of itself bothers me, but there was this one time where May got into trouble on the West Side with a bunch of thugs, and one of them goes, "Hey, isn't that the one chick from The Purple Pussy? The blonde with the skills of a chink?" No, I shit you not. Not on the name of the brothel,and not on this particular reference to May's past. It was just so out of place in what was otherwise a decent action scene. OKAY. WE GET IT. MAY USED TO BE A WHORE AND SHE HAS A HEALING VAJAYJAY OF SPARKLINESS. LET'S MOVE ON.

3) This goes back to point one about the sexual scenes - there's one in which May masturbates to a picture of her manfriend. Gods, it squicks me just to type that. It wouldn't be so bad if May were drawn as a 17-year-old. But no, for some reason May is so stupid that (according to the Wiki page) she takes growth-stunting herbal supplements so that she can keep Ken happy, if you know what I mean, and I think you do, and for that I am so terribly sorry that I have to inflict my pain upon you. Except not really, because I refuse to be alone in this. OKAY. WE GET IT. MAY IS MADLY IN LOVE WITH KEN FOR A STUPID REASON I CAN'T FATHOM. LET'S MOVE ON.

The relationship between May and Ken is written and drawn as cute and endearing, but it's just creepy. The only reason I'm putting up with this thing is because Ken was the one who taught May how to make the awesome kablamafoos that she uses to blast bad guys to smithereens. No, I have no clue why he thought that would be a good idea, considering that I think May was 13 when they first started going out. Excuse me, I'm going to run out to the corner Walgreens to get myself a new brain, bbl.

(Holy shit, I just realized that Ken Taki (May's manfriend) shares a similar name with the creator of Gunsmith Cats, Kenichi Sonoda. Ken and Kenichi. Dude. Now the creepy level is over 9000! Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Please tell me I'm reading too much into it. Because I am so squicked out right now like you wouldn't believe.)

Also, Becky the so-called star reporter is seriously Too Fucking Stupid to Live.

Other than that little(?) caveat, though, I really like Gunsmith Cats and I want the rest of the volumes lieknao.

we'll be together, and you can be sure
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Okay, y'all, THIS IS NOT NO FREAKIN' SAILOR SATURN, aight?! That's, like...I don't even know what that is. I think that's Hotaru when the Outer Senshi fired her from the team 'cause they just knew this little bitch was gonna make trouble even after the whole Mistress 9 thing, so now Hotaru does striptease at the "Moon Kingdom" nightclub under the name and slogan "Mistress Firefly: She'll Set You Afire!"

(Tangent: Don't be fooled by the innocent face and sickly body - Sailor Saturn is badass. She is so badass, in fact, that the whole reason she doesn't show up often in either the manga or the anime is because otherwise she would overwhelm both with her level of badassitude. Werd to tha Glaive, y0.)

Shit. I really want/need/must to go back and watch the Sailor Moon series. That was, as it was for many others, my first initiation into the world of anime. AND OH GODS IT WAS GOOD. I first started watching in 3rd grade, waking up at 6am or so to catch the Beryl arc and the Doom Tree arc on UPN. Then I switched to Cartoon Network for Chibiusa's first appearance to halfway through the arc with the Witches 5 in it (can't remember the exact names of these seasons and too lazy to wiki it, lulz). I think? The memories are a little hazy in my mind, because I don't think Sailor Moon aired on Cartoon Network until a few years after it aired on UPN. Or maybe it did and all would be answered if I cared to check the Wikipedia entry on it, but it's nearly 5am here and I should be writing sleeping and...yeah.


Working here and there on music. I'd really like to get working on setting "Eidolon" to a melody, but all in due time. I'm smoothing out "Triskaidekaphobia" and re-discovering "Queen of Denial". For the former, there's a transition part halfway through the song that I'm trying to work out and make it sound vaguely interesting, with varying degrees of success. For the latter, I have to re-write the accompaniment for...well...most of the stanzas, 'cause the previous one (what I can remember of it at this point) suxx0red. I'm fond of the two versions of the chorus accompaniment, though. The lyrics still irk me with how needlessly dramatic they are, but I suppose I could claim that "Queen of Denial" is, in fact, meant to be a satirical commentary on the idea of noble suffering. Except then I would be a Big Fucking Liar, because the song was meant to be me seriously whining about how I didn't have a special someone to spend the holidays with one year. THERE. I SAID IT. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

*cue Michelle Branch song*

Other things I'm abusing the ivories with:

1) "Harbor" by Vienna Teng. Straight from the sheet music.
2) "Wanted" by Vanessa Carlton. Also straight from the sheet music.
3) "Whatever You Want" by Vienna Teng. My own version. I used the first known live recording of the song as the base for getting most of the notes.
4) "Serenade" by Franz Schubert. The famous one. Uh. Yeah. I just thought that I should get some classical stuff into my repertoire other than (a badly-performed) "Rondo alla Turca" by Mozart, and while I also really want to re-learn Liszt's "Notturno No. 3", this song is the easier one to re-learn and memorize, hands down.

now who's cryin', desirin' to come back to me?
reileen: (music - proofread score)
After doing some random browsing on eBay yesterday, then checking out some prospective models at the local SamAsh and Guitar Center today, I finally made my choice and went on eBay to drop about $700 on a new Casio Privia PX200, with stand, pedal, and free shipping (though I did have to pay $6.95 for shipping insurance).

My first choice when I started looking at digital keyboards was the Kawai EP2, but that was/is a bit out of my price range - combining my checking and savings, I had a little over $900 to spend, and for (possibly very silly) reasons of pride, I was a bit reluctant to ask my parents for money on this. I thought about the Yamaha P70 when I was looking on eBay, since it was Yamaha and fairly cheap, but when I tried the model out in SamAsh, I didn't like the feel of the keys. The Yamaha P140 was far better, but it was also out of my price range even on eBay. It was a good thing that I wrote down the brand names for some of the other keyboards I tried out, 'cause that's how I ended up settling on the Casio Privia PX200: it was decently priced, had a nice sound, and a weighted feel to the keys.

I'll have to purchase headphones and the bench separately, but that's fine - I should have enough digi-green to cover for both of them. I should be able to get a decent bench for cheap on eBay; we'll have to see about the headphones, and anyway I'd need to double-check the type of headphone jack on the keyboard. *is a n00b at this*

All right, Gods, help a poor artistwritermusicianista out here and make sure that her keyboard arrives in perfect condition and stays like that for a good long time, aight? Pretty please? With incense on top? :D;;

EDIT: Snagged a bench for $19.99 plus $10 shipping, which ends up being the retail price for that bench anyway. Fine by me. Time to go research headphones!

I will swallow, if it will help my sea level go down
reileen: (music - proofread score)
My cover of "Whatever You Want" is mostly performable at this point. I still have to work on the timing for the second set of lyrics, but I can fumble my way through well enough...I think.

Amazingly, I've also managed to piece together the main chords for Evanescence's "Give Unto Me." I had the opening melody figured out by memory a few days ago, and with my iPod at my side, I picked out the rest of the chords. I just need a couple more hours at the piano to figure out and practice the arrangement of the chords, and then I could probably perform that song too. Luckily for me, Amy Lee's vocals in "Give Unto Me" are very much within my singing range - none of her usual screaming like you get in "Lithium" or "Bring Me to Life" or whatever.

I'm also working on Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence." The chords for that are mostly figured out; arrangement is the scary part, though I have a decent idea of what I could do for it. I found out that the chords I'd Googled for this song were a half-step lower than what was originally written, so I had to spend time messing around to get the right chords. I can't even name half of these chords, though - I indicate them on the paper by writing the main triad of notes that are involved. (I plan to do some study of music theory during the summer. Srsly.)

In two days I've got my Japanese final, so I need to get cracking on studying for that, because otherwise I will seriously fail that class.

but distance sees through your disguise
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Three hours or so in the practice rooms today have yielded to me the secrets of Vienna Teng's "Whatever You Want" - I can now perform the entire piece, albeit a little haphazardly and wildly off-key. But the basis is there, and at least the beginning part is pretty much set for me, which was what I'd first figured out of the song anyway, last week. It's a ridiculously fun and addictive song to play...which is rather appropriate, considering it's a ridiculously fun and addictive song to listen to, even though the lyrics are about a marriage that's breaking up because the husband is a h0r to his work.

On the other hand, I've still got a couple more listening activities to do for Japanese, and boy oh boy am I behind like a mother-fucker on my animation project. Also, art history paper due next Tuesday that I totally haven't started yet even though I must've had at least three weeks. At least I now own the DVD for the movie that we're supposed to write about: three huzzahs for Amazon.

It's also really sad that I seriously have to consider taking up citizenship in Japan later in life because the state of our nation appears to have gotten frighteningly bad and I can't flee to Mexico or Canada 'cause Uncle Sam's got extradition agreements with them that prevent Americans from escaping American jurisdiction in either of those two countries.

But for now, I shall flounce off to take a shower before settling in with a Dew or ten and working at whatever it is I need to do.

As a final word: Sheridan Prasso's The Asian Mystique basically amounts to "NOMG AZNZ R PPL 2!!!111ichi!!!"

she's alone again
reileen: (Default)
There's the threads of a song lurking somewhere in my mind. It's in the key of F-minor (I seem to gravitate towards minor keys...I wonder why) and it's a generally really creepy song, with strange dissonant chords whose names I don't know, but who demand to be in the song somehow. It grew out when I was experimenting with stuff for "Abandon Hope," but I think I want to make this one into an instrumental - that is, a purely piano melody. But I can't piece together a main motif that sounds decent. I might open up Notepad and start doing some experimental transcription.


I just found out that an old high school classmate of mine has died of cancer. Her wake is on Wednesday. Apparently I'm to wear white because that's what she would have wanted.

She wasn't even twenty yet. I didn't know her all that well, but still. What the fuck, world.


Economics paper = finally pwned. Although it's still shitty as hell.

and the ghosts in the attic, they never quite leave
reileen: (music - proofread score)
These are all YouSendIt links, programmed to self-destruct within seven days.

Gravity (Lake version)
Attempting to perform the "Lake" version of "Gravity" by Vienna Teng. Better than my first few attempts, though definitely nowhere near Vienna's level.

Hymn of Promise
Probably my favorite hymn of all time, next to Amazing Grace. I sat down at the piano a couple of times starting a week or two ago and began to pick out the melody and chords from memory as best as I could. Hearing this hymn at church was the only reason I ever looked forward to Lenten season, since this was the only time I ever heard it played. You can see why I didn't remain a Christian.

Well, if it's not much of an improvement over the earlier least it's louder.

just a day, just an ordinary day
reileen: (music - proofread score)
I had nothing else to do this morning except sleep so I went down to the music practice rooms to see what I could churn out.

...uh, yeah. What a waste of oxygen molecules. I think I'll stick to writing song lyrics for now until my music muse comes back. And why was it so damn cold in there? You can't play the damn piano if your fingers are freezing to the marrow!

Also, apparently there's supposed to be "strong storms" today with a high of 63 degrees...? Love you too, Chicago.

all of my yesterdays spill like pearls from my eyes
reileen: (Default)
I never did go to that Intonation concert from this entry. In my defense, though, I'd really not rather do any performance without at least one rehearsal. I e-mailed the coordinator of the concert asking about a rehearsal time, since I wouldn't know anyone there or where the concert was going to be held, and he never responded, so I didn't want to go and make a total fool of myself. Plus I didn't really know what I wanted to play. Hahahahawhups.

My New Year's schedule has also been shot to shit, although it's been that way for a while. Just another personal case of self-disappointment in the life of Reileen. It's not a surprising development for me.

To top it off, I never sent my conference paper to either of the two possible places that I could have sent it, mainly because I never bothered to finish the "related work" section of my paper. I know I could have, but I just got really lazy and lethargic and depressed. Rrrargh.

In happier news, a friend has introduced me to a slightly more sugary version of Ali Project, called Yousei Teikoku, and I am hopelessly hooked on a couple of their songs (although I think listening to their stuff for too long drains my life energy or something).


Current grades:

ART106 - A
JPN102 - B
ANI220 - Expecting an A, but we'll see...
ANI105 - Probably a B?

Blargh. I should've done better.

to skip or not to skip, that is the question
reileen: (music - proofread score)
It appears that music muse is, once again, drifting away from me, most likely attracted to more promising and polished prospects than I to satisfy her wanton needs. She was, however, nice enough to leave me with most of the melody for the opening riff of Vienna Teng's "Momentum," along with a couple of possible chords that, if arranged in the right order, will fit together as neatly as a jigsaw puzzle.

I said once in a comment to another friend of mine that anyone who wanted to court me would have to contend with three other constant suitors: art, writing, and music. I neglected to mention that these suitors are more fickle than rainbow stains upon oil puddles.

my body lies, but still I wander
reileen: (Default)
Linked to from [ profile] dark_christian: Christian pediatrician denies child service because parents are tattooed

A family is turned away by a local pediatrician, they say because of the way they look.

The doctor said he is just following his beliefs, creating a Christian atmosphere for his patients.

Tasha Childress said it’s discrimination.

She said Dr. Gary Merrill wouldn’t treat her daughter for an ear infection because Tasha, the mother, has tattoos.

Yes! Because that's totally Christian! There's a law in Leviticus that says you can't treat kids whose parents have tattoos, and one of the Ten Commandments is "Thou shalt not chew gum"! Let me tell you folks, this doctor is the epitome of Yeshua bar Yosef, because Jesus never went among people whom others considered skeevy and never consorted with those who could be deemed socially appalling and...oh wait.

I mean, shit, people. I don't care what the fuck the law says you have a right to do, but it is morally wrong to let a child suffer like that just because of your anal-retentive beliefs that don't even have feet of clay, especially if you're in the healing profession. And it's even more disturbing when you consider that the kid was denied an exam because of her parents. Yes, I am abusing italics. That's how pissed I am.

ETA: Okay, I've just re-read the article, and something's off here. The article mentions that there's another mother who has been treated by this doctor, and she says that she has tattoos and not a word was ever said about them. So we're missing a part of the story, it seems.


Triskaidekaphobia, take one. I make three noticeable mistakes at the beginning, middle, and end of the song. How convenient.

thirteen hells your death shall be, to freeze within the icy blaze
reileen: (music - proofread score)
"Triskaidekaphobia" is up to "able to be performed decently" level! There's one part at the end that I decided to change a little, but technically I could just keep it as I just had it, and the song would still sound listenable (I think). If I get it good enough, maybe I can perform it at Intonation. Or not, since the song's really only like a minute and half. Srsly.

Shit, I still don't have any specific articles to cite in the "related work" section of this damn research paper...gonna have to search tomorrow if when I get up. And my dorm room is messy again, but what else is new? And I gotta find another thing to draw for my next ART106 project, and I have to fix my ANI220 storyboard frames...

All of a sudden, life doesn't seem too hot.

soon as this wall in my heart comes down, gonna make it feel like home
reileen: (music - proofread score)
1. Like mentioned in the previous entry, not too cold today, at least starting out. It ended up being a bit slushy, but that's what you get for wishing for a winter wonderland. (Not me, but the crazy freaks out yonder who actually like winter.)

2. I have an extra day to fix up the storyboard I did for today's class in ANI220 and make it look all pretty. I'm sick on handing in crap to a class that I know I can whup everyone's asses in. (Well, mostly everyone's.)

3. Learned the basics about perspective - that bane of all banes for artists - today in ART106. One day, I'll be able to draw detailed backgrounds with correct perspective! One day...

4. Drank mostly water instead of my usual Mt. Dew. I feel refreshed and clean!

5. Despite the fact that I have this chronic yet unexcusable tendency to be late for/missing most of/entirely skipping JPN102, I have still managed to ace all our quizzes as well as the midterm. This has colored 私の先生 very, very impressed.


A while back, I noticed a flyer in my dorm building advertising for a cross-uni student concert called Intonation hosted by one of the schools that houses students in this dorm building (there's three schools here total, including mine). Curious, I sent off an e-mail to the address on the tag that I ripped off the original flyer, and was asked about a week later for any sort of sample recording. Being the lazy girl that I am, I shot off the link to my YouTube account.

I got an e-mail two days later asking me if I was available to perform at the university on March 22.

I'm definitely flattered that the person thought I was good enough to be included in the line-up of musicians who are most likely way more talented than I am. Oddly enough, I'm also looking forward to it. The last time I performed live in front of an audience was back in...junior year of high school, maybe? And I hated having to do those two piano recitals that I did, so it's strange now that I'm looking forward to perform. Maybe it's because this is something I chose to do, instead of something I had to do? It's not a paying event, either: all monetary proceeds and food and clothing donations go to different charities (Intonation is apparently held 2-3 times a semester). I'm actually fine with that, though - right now I don't think I deserve to get paid for playing, but I'm glad that my plunkity-plunks will apparently be put to good use anyway. I'm pretty sure I can make the date, because it's right on the cusp of my spring break, and since spring break is only for a week, I should be able to convince my parents to let me snooze away my days at the dorm.


Also gearing up to eventually take ACEN '08 by storm when I make my debut on the Artists' Alley floor. I printed out the regulations for this year's ACEN so I could look them over and see what would be expected of me out there next year, because I'm deathly paranoid that I'm going to completely fuck up and ruin everything for myself. I have a couple of ideas for original stuff that I could sell, both at my hypothetical table and perhaps at the Art Show as auction items, so let's hope for my art muse to not abandon me so cruelly again.

Speaking of this year's ACEN, I still haven't started on sewing my cosplay costume...ahahahaha...

never thought it'd feel so right, bringing you to your knees
reileen: (Default)
Anna Nicole Smith collapses, dies at 39

I think someone's been putting that Death Note to good use. Though I really wish it were Paris Hilton instead. Or, you know, Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell or someone like that. After all, Paris is mostly harmless.


Mmm, crab rangoon, fried rice, and Mountain Dew. Such a divine meal.


"Triskaidekaphobia" is about 75% figured out right now. I have most of the main melody done, I just have to figure out the accompaniment for a couple of parts. And yes, it is vaguely tango-ish in its tune. But it's fun to play - hella lot more fun than "Queen of Denial."

take my hand/off to never never land


reileen: (Default)
Reileen van Kaile

April 2010



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